Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill: two more Britons in Ukraine charged with being mercenaries by Russia

Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill have been charged with being mercenaries by Russia

Two more Britons have been charged with being mercenaries after being captured by Russians in Ukraine.

State media reported that the pair had been caught by Moscow’s forces in separatist-held territory.

Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic said, according to Tass, the Russian state-owned news agency.

The outlet claimed that both men were refusing to co-operate with investigators.

It comes after a video shown on Russian television in April featured a man speaking with an English accent who appeared to give his name as Andrew Hill from Plymouth.

Dylan Healy who has reportedly been charged by Russian forces in Ukraine. SWNS

What charges do they face and what would be the punishment?

Mr Healy and Mr Hill are facing charges of carrying out “mercenary activities”, according to Russian state media.

These are the same charges that were levelled against Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, two British military volunteers captured in Mariupol.

Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner have been condemned to death in Donetsk.

It is feared that Mr Healy and Mr Hill could also face the same fate.

What has the British Government said?

The UK Government has not yet responded following the news that Mr Healy and Mr Hill had been charged in Donetsk.

However they had previously stressed that Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner were living in Ukraine before the invasion and the Government has insisted that, as legitimate members of the Ukrainian armed forces, they should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.

What does the Geneva Convention say about Prisoners of War?

Adopted in 1949, the Geneva Convention has established codes for how captured troops should be treated.

Prisoners of War (PoW) under the conventions are defined as follows: “Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

“Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied.

“Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.”

The Geneva Convention states that PoW “at all times humanely treated”.

It continues: “Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention.”

The USSR ratified the Geneva Convention in 1954 and Russia remains a signatory to the majority of the agreements - it did revoke the protocol on war crimes victims in 2019.

Could the European Court of Human Rights intervene?

It was announced this week that The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) had intervened in the cases of Mr Aslin and Mr Pinne.

The Strasbourg-based court indicated to Moscow that it should ensure the death penalty imposed on Mr Aslin, 28, originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, and Mr Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, is not carried out.